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Grand Forks woman's home is a site to behold

In Betsy Batstone-Cunningham's view there's no better place for her home than along the Grand Forks Greenway. More than 30 feet of windows on the main floor of Batstone-Cunningham's 2,400-square-feet home in south Grand Forks offers a panoramic v...

In Betsy Batstone-Cunningham's view there's no better place for her home than along the Grand Forks Greenway.

More than 30 feet of windows on the main floor of Batstone-Cunningham's 2,400-square-feet home in south Grand Forks offers a panoramic view of the Greenway along the tree-lined Red River.

"I think I have the best view in Grand Forks," Batstone-Cunningham said.

"I'm a bird watcher. It's wonderful for birding."

Sitting on a tripod near one of the 3.5-by-8-foot windows in her main floor great room is a spotting scope she uses to watch birds, such as eagles and hawks and other creatures that frequent the Greenway.

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"There was a moose running down the Greenway" one day this winter, she said.

Batstone-Cunningham moved into her new home in July from a house on University Avenue. Her original plan was to remodel her 1904 home, but she discovered it would cost too much, so she started looking for a lot.

Construction of her house on the corner lot began in October 2006 and she moved into her home in July 2007. Batstone-Cunningham and architect Scott Meland designed the house for convenience, but instilled in it a lot of character.

Ideas

Batstone-Cunningham, who once planned to be an architect, collects books and magazines on architecture and had some ideas about features she wanted in the house.

An artist, she wanted the basement level floor to be concrete so she could easily clean up paint spills. She also wanted a lot of windows so she could get the north light which would be ideal for painting or other arts and crafts such as quilting.

Upstairs, on the main floor, a place for her hundreds of books was a must, so 34-inch high bookcases are built along three walls of the great room. The bookcases, like the woodwork, stairs to the main level and the floors are recycled wood.

The walls throughout the main floor are white and Batstone-Cunningham added color with paintings, pottery and prints she's collected over the years. She furnished the living area of the great with red leather chairs and glassed-top coffee table. Across from them, in the dining area are an oak table and chairs.

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On the far side of the great room is the kitchen. The quartz countertop covering the island which separates the great room from the kitchen is white, like the great room walls, while the base of the island is beige and made from medium-density fiberboard. Pullout drawers and cabinets on both sides of the store utensils, plates and cookware.

Other features

A pantry that is kitty-corner from the island stores food and appliances in pull-out drawers. On the back wall of the kitchen

is the gas stove with a grill. Glass panels behind the stove keep grease and spatters off of the white walls. Adjacent to the stove is a double wall oven and built-in refrigerator. Between the two is a small work area for bread making.

Next to the kitchen is a small media room with a television and built in benches. A doorway between the media room and kitchen leads outside to a small deck.

Across the hall is another door, leading to another deck. A laundry room and three bedrooms are farther down the hall. The master bedroom has a master bath with built-in blue-tiled walk-in shower and a stool.

Practical

A dumb waiter at the top of the stairs carries groceries and other goods up to the main level for Batstone-Cunningham.

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"I thought I'd be able to live in the house longer because I don't have to get stuff up the stairs," she said.

Not only the inside, but the outside of the house is built with convince in mind. The outside is covered with corrugated aluminum so it never needs to be painted and the soffets underneath the roof and the pillars in front of the house are cedar, which eventually weather to a soft gray color.

Her home's location along the Greenway also is convenient for getting to her job in downtown Grand Forks in the summer.

"I can ride all the way to work on my bicycle," Batstone-Cunningham said.

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